Director People and Performance
Liz joined Zoos SA in August 2023 bringing with her a wealth of experience in leading human resources strategies and operations and volunteer management. Prior to joining us Liz recently lead the People and Culture division of St John Ambulance SA and before that supported SA Health by managing the SA Government staff mobilisation emergency management program for Contact Tracing, Vaccination clinics, quarantine hotels and testing stations during the Covid pandemic. Liz’s career history is primarily based in the Not-for-Profit sector with managerial roles across human resources, volunteer management and corporate services for both Alzheimer’s Australia and the Australian Red Cross.
Liz is passionate about organisational culture and staff engagement and will continue to develop the Zoos SA People Plan to ensure we develop and retain the skills and experience we need in our workforce to meet the current and future strategic and operational organisational goals, and have an environment where people are engaged and committed to our vision, mission and values.
Liz is married and has two German Shorthaired Pointers; she is a keen photographer and loves to spend her relaxation time at the beach with her camera and dogs. She is dedicated to the Zoos conservation programs and has a special love of the big cats.
Elaine Bensted is Chief Executive of Zoos SA which operates both Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Safari Park and has been in this role since September 2012. Elaine reports to the Zoos SA Board, elected by members of the society, and is supported by a strong senior management team.
Prior to her appointment as Chief Executive, Elaine held the position of Chief Executive for TAFE SA and preceding this held senior roles in both state and local government. Elaine has also worked in the private finance sector, within human resources and training management, operation and project management and bank branch manager roles.
Elaine’s qualifications include an MBA and a Masters in Public Policy and Management. Elaine also holds qualifications in accounting and finance.
Outside of her work with Zoos SA, Elaine is also Vice President of Zoos & Aquarium Association (ZAA) and Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee, Board member of Children’s University Advisory Board, Uni SA Business School Program Advisory Board, The Australian Rhino Project Board, International Koala Centre of Excellence Advisory Board, World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) Membership & Ethics Committee and the Treasurer, Board member of the Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland Board and Environment Institute Advisory Board.
Elaine is married with an adult daughter and is the proud long-time owner of German Shepherd Dogs.
“I see it as a privilege, honour and huge responsibility to lead such an iconic organisation which is delivering on such a critical mission. I enjoy working with immensely passionate staff and volunteers in an amazing work environment with a lot of opportunities for “wow” moments that no other job could ever provide”